- Published on Tuesday, 10 April 2012 10:13
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) held a successful training workshop at the weekend in Jenincity south of West Bank, looking at the judicial system and the press in Palestine, supported by the Foundation for the Future.
The Jenin two days training workshop was one of four workshops organised by MADA to-date this year. Tens of journalists and media students have participated in these workshops so far, in key locations across the West Bank, and Gaza strip.
Project coordinator, Ghazi Bani Odeh, explained the objectives of the project and MADA's role in the defence of media freedoms through monitoring, documentation, the publication of reports and through the work of the Centre's Legal Unit in defending journalists. He particularly outlined MADA's annual report of media freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Legal researchers Rashad Twam and Jihad Harb reviewed the international conventions relating to freedom of expression and human rights and Palestinian laws related to freedom of opinion and expression, especially the Press and Publications Law and the Penal Code, as well as safeguards guaranteeing freedom of the press and expression.
During the workshop, participants discussed crimes related to the work of journalists, especially crimes of libel and defamation under the Penal Code in force in the Palestinian territories, and protection mechanisms for local and international journalists.
Participants also discussed a number of cases in which journalists were prosecuted on account of their writings, the legal texts which were invoked in these cases, and means of generating positive public pressure to promote freedom of expression.
The two researchers stressed the importance of knowing legal procedures and mechanisms of action as well as adherence to professional journalism, based on accuracy and objectivity, as one of the safeguards that can help to ensure journalists are not prosecuted.
The participants confirmed the need for such workshops, to help fill a gap in their legal knowledge of laws in force.
They stressed the importance of bridging this gap through similar activities.